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Sean Trane View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Topic: Heard of the best Aussie group? >> Rainbow Theatre
    Posted: November 15 2006 at 03:44
Rainbow TheatreFantasy of Horses CD (album) cover
 
 
 
RAINBOW THEATRE — Fantasy of Horses
Review by Sean Trane (Hugues Chantraine)
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Specialist

— First review of this album —

5 stars Wow!! I never start my review with wow. But apparently this group remains to be discovered by a lot of people, and that includes me. Talk about unearthing a gem here… Out of nowhere comes from the underworld this strange band that knows what drama is. As a matter of fact, some of their music can even be called operatic having not only a string section but also a moody wind section as well: jazzy feel on those very Spanish Conquistador dramatic themes. Yes, the music is often grandiose (sometimes bordering on the cheesy) and being somehow what Days Of Future Past should’ve been. Does this sound intriguing? Ya betcha!! These guys are drawing musical circles around you and they are twiddling with your unstabled brains with their incredible musical meanders and those orgasmic Mellotrons washes.

I am generally not an opera fan (and certainly do not like the “high culture” snobbery always present at those events), but here I will not only make an exception, we are in for a real rock opera, much more than the great Townsend threw at us into his trips and anguishes (go back to sleep, Rick!!). This music is really classical music fused with rock and might just be on the best example of fusion ever (even if I repeat the word cheesy). But the rock parts are hovering between early Crimson with a great (and much more than that) rhythm section, jazzy Spanish horn section drawing of Rodriguez- type of Aranjuez Concerto. Just flabbergasting if you let yourself taken by the waves of the music. The four tracks (two short and two epics) are gut-wrenching, fascinating, orgasmic, grandiose hair-raising (hear the Farewell of Dancer, the first epic) and yet flow so easily together to form one gigantic track. So much that the heavily rhythmic jazz rock of City Night Life simply does not shock, but actually perfectly and lovingly out- of-place, just like it was meant to be. Too bad for an excellent drum solo that lasted a minute too long, though. The title track starts on a slow operatic style but the crescendo is breathtakingly implacably progressive. Stupendous flutes with the whole orchestra pushing the oboe and other winds (the trombone gets some superb underlines), the whole thing resonates a bit like those unique and crazy Finns of Haikara (their first album really) due to the same Crimson influences but also Magma’s works on choral works and interplay with rock. Stupendous, incredibly flawlessly played and written, this is nearing perfection although on the duration, not throughout the whole album, but close eough to be a masterpiece.

Just some 35 minutes-long, this album is easily the best thing to have come from down under, crushing any other pretenders by far, even Sebastian Hardie. This album just got a second release with a bonus track and unfortunately I cannot tell you how it aches I do not have that version. I’m not exactly sure how I should take the fact that this group was never being exposed (not even sure there are that many collector who know of the group) and that they are finally getting exposition some 30 years later. This was obviously not a cheap record to make back then, so it is hard to understand how this group was never promoted properly. I just can’t believe there are still some incredible albums that are finally getting a bit of attention some 30 years later (but this is also what keeps this old geezer up to his progressive obsessions ;-). Because music like this is only waiting for progheads to love it. One of my shocks this year!!!

Posted Wednesday, November 15, 2006, 03:25 EST | Permanent link

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 15 2006 at 04:18
I found this album on ebay last year and totally agree with you. It's surprising because I dislike opera, but the operatic vocals make an interesting contrast to the jazzy feel of the music.  There are beautiful mellotron passages as well, which is what originally attracted me to the album. The title of the album was also a selling point as I'm a horse lover.  It would be interesting to have seen them perform live.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 15 2006 at 04:25
Sounds interesting, I'll pick it up later this week with any luck.
 
And another thing, Australia is up top, not down below.Stern Smile


Edited by Australian - November 15 2006 at 04:27
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 15 2006 at 04:34
Originally posted by Sean Trane Sean Trane wrote:

Rainbow TheatreFantasy of Horses CD %28album%29 cover
 

 

 

RAINBOW THEATRE — Fantasy of Horses[/COLOR">Review by Sean Trane[/COLOR"> (Hugues Chantraine) Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Specialist
<H3 style="COLOR: #dc143c; TEXT-ALIGN: center">— First review of this album —</H3>
<P style="COLOR: #333"> Wow!! I never start my review with wow. But apparently this group remains to be discovered by a lot of people, and that includes me. Talk about unearthing a gem here… Out of nowhere comes from the underworld this strange band that knows what drama is. As a matter of fact, some of their music can even be called operatic having not only a string section but also a moody wind section as well: jazzy feel on those very Spanish Conquistador dramatic themes. Yes, the music is often grandiose (sometimes bordering on the cheesy) and being somehow what Days Of Future Past should’ve been. Does this sound intriguing? Ya betcha!! These guys are drawing musical circles around you and they are twiddling with your unstabled brains with their incredible musical meanders and those orgasmic Mellotrons washes. I am generally not an opera fan (and certainly do not like the “high culture” snobbery always present at those events), but here I will not only make an exception, we are in for a real rock opera, much more than the great Townsend threw at us into his trips and anguishes (go back to sleep, Rick!!). This music is really classical music fused with rock and might just be on the best example of fusion ever (even if I repeat the word cheesy). But the rock parts are hovering between early Crimson with a great (and much more than that) rhythm section, jazzy Spanish horn section drawing of Rodriguez- type of Aranjuez Concerto. Just flabbergasting if you let yourself taken by the waves of the music. The four tracks (two short and two epics) are gut-wrenching, fascinating, orgasmic, grandiose hair-raising (hear the Farewell of Dancer, the first epic) and yet flow so easily together to form one gigantic track. So much that the heavily rhythmic jazz rock of City Night Life simply does not shock, but actually perfectly and lovingly out- of-place, just like it was meant to be. Too bad for an excellent drum solo that lasted a minute too long, though. The title track starts on a slow operatic style but the crescendo is breathtakingly implacably progressive. Stupendous flutes with the whole orchestra pushing the oboe and other winds (the trombone gets some superb underlines), the whole thing resonates a bit like those unique and crazy Finns of Haikara (their first album really) due to the same Crimson influences but also Magma’s works on choral works and interplay with rock. Stupendous, incredibly flawlessly played and written, this is nearing perfection although on the duration, not throughout the whole album, but close eough to be a masterpiece.Just some 35 minutes-long, this album is easily the best thing to have come from down under, crushing any other pretenders by far, even Sebastian Hardie. This album just got a second release with a bonus track and unfortunately I cannot tell you how it aches I do not have that version. I’m not exactly sure how I should take the fact that this group was never being exposed (not even sure there are that many collector who know of the group) and that they are finally getting exposition some 30 years later. This was obviously not a cheap record to make back then, so it is hard to understand how this group was never promoted properly. I just can’t believe there are still some incredible albums that are finally getting a bit of attention some 30 years later (but this is also what keeps this old geezer up to his progressive obsessions ;-). Because music like this is only waiting for progheads to love it. One of my shocks this year!!!


<P style="MARGIN-TOP: 10px; COLOR: #888; TEXT-ALIGN: right">Posted Wednesday, November 15, 2006, 03:25 EST | Permanent link






    WOW

I Want this Album
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 15 2006 at 04:41
Originally posted by Australian Australian wrote:

Sounds interesting, I'll pick it up later this week with any luck.
 
And another thing, Australia is up top, not down below.Stern Smile
 
Be sure to get the right re-issue. Mine is without the bonus track. My copy is the Green Tree re-issue.
 
there is a newer edition that came out this month on Aztec records. Their first album, the Armada is also due out soon. 


Edited by Sean Trane - November 15 2006 at 04:57
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 15 2006 at 04:45
Hm... I'll try to remember that, thanks Huguesy!
 
Found it. Seems I may have to order it from the CD Store however.
 
 
Its Good to see theatre spelt correctly.
 


Edited by Australian - November 15 2006 at 05:02
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 15 2006 at 05:00
Very enthusiastic review, Hughes, Clap i'm curious! - will look forward to hearing this one!!Smile
 
 
 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 15 2006 at 07:26
Best Aussie group is Buffalo with late Pete Wells
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 15 2006 at 07:42
Originally posted by manticor manticor wrote:

Best Aussie group is Buffalo with late Pete Wells
 
they're not even in the ArchivesConfused
 
But I just saw that the albums are in my library system >< will check this out, but I doubt they will be better than RB
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 15 2006 at 12:49
I'm not very impressed with most Aussie bands but abut two weeks ago I had to write a bio of this album, managed to get some samples from Fantasy of Horses and inmediately required the CD.
 
The funny thing is that Sean and I discovered this great band almost simultaneously and exchanged some PM's about them, mainly because I found so strong Jazz and King Crimson influences that for some moments I was tempted to send them to Art Rock.
 
After receiving the CD my doubts were cleared, the Jazz influence is almost a plus, like some kind of topping and mainly managed by the Rhythm Section, but the main melodic structure and atmosphere is clearly Symphonic, and the KC influence is mainly from ITCOCK, so there was no doubt that the best place for them is Symphonic and didn't even bothered HT or Bob who were very busy writting their bios (Bob's will be added tonight with the complete list of links for 40 bands with new bios) and just wrote a short biography.
 
Had the luck to get the re-mastered edition with the Classical addition by Julian Browning (Symphony No. 3 -First Movement- ) which is good but different to the mood of the album.
 
According to info found in the net, their first album "Armada" was re-released a week ago (The same day I wrote the bio) and just found it in http://www.aztecmusic.net/avscd019.htm even when a bit expensive
 
Don't expect something similar to Sebastian Hardie and every Aussie band, some are good even great but Rainbow Theatre is OUTSTANDING and on another level.
 
Can't understand why this gem has remained hidden during such a long time.
 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 17 2006 at 07:55
 
Can't understand why this gem has remained hidden during such a long time.
 
Iván
[/QUOTE]
 
 
Prog is the most unfashionable musical form ever and prog lovers in Oz seem to be even a smaller percentage than other countries. I only  found out about  Sebatsian Hardy in 1983 and have only just now hear about this group. Must get a cd.
How wonderful to be so profound
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